THE HEART OF MIDLOTHIAN SHAREHOLDERS ASSOCIATION
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 30TH JANUARY 2020
Report on the Operations and Activities of the Association
I am writing during one of the worst run of results in the history of the Club with only one game left to play in 2019. Despite removing our Manager Craig Levein from his position on the Board and as First Team Manager, and the appointment of new Manager Daniel Stendel, our results continue to be very poor we are currently firmly at the foot of the league following a home derby defeat, and, on the face of it, relegation is a real possibility. I don’t think anyone could have predicted such a quick decline, although a creditable performance in the Scottish Cup Final, albeit still resulting in a loss, was at the time something of a highlight. We have to remain optimistic, and hope that with the return of our long term injured players, some new blood arriving in January, we can put a run of results together and start to climb the League.
Off the park, 2020 will be the year that Bidco will transfer a majority shareholding in Heart of Midlothian to Foundation of Hearts and the Club will become the largest fan owned club in the UK. This is indeed a historic moment in the history of the Club and the football world will be watching with interest. We must make a success of it.
Following the construction of the new Stand, we now have one of the best stadiums in the country and a home to be proud of. It has been expensive and is over budget and we must look to fill the seats for every home game and use the huge asset to create an income stream to support the football side of the Club.
Finally, at last women’s football has become the fastest growing sport on the planet. Hearts can be proud that they have integrated Hearts Ladies teams into the Academy and are playing a major part in developing women’s football.
During the year the Association held seven General Dinner Meetings as well as an Annual General Meeting in January. At our AGM in January we were delighted to welcome as our guests Academy Manager Roger Arnott along with Sports Scientist Tom Taylor and Youth Academy star, our sponsored youth player, Cameron Logan. In February we were entertained by former FIFA Assistant Referee James Bee who gave our audience an illuminating talk on SFA Referees. In March we had one of our media nights attended by Scotsman and Edinburgh Evening News journalists Alan Pattullo and Moira Gordon. As always, we had our Player of the Year Dinner in April. Steven Naismith accompanied by players Michael Smith and Steven MacLean. Steven Naismith was presented with our POY trophy, but all three of them gave us a right royal evening of stories, opinions and entertainment. We started the new season with former player and manager Sandy Clark. Unsurprisingly Sandy gave us an excellent evening of entertainment. In September, Director of Football and Manager Craig Levein , along with Assistant Austin McPhee gave us an update on all football matters at the Club. Club Chair and CEO joined us in October and as always gave us an excellent report on all aspects of the Club and followed this with an informative Q and A session with the large audience attending. In November we had a double bill. Firstly, former FOH Chair and current Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray gave a short talk on his new book ‘This is Our Story’ about his time as Chair of FOH. This was followed by a very appropriate for the time of year talk from Director Bruce Strachan and Writer Paul Beeson on their critically acclaimed play ‘A War of Two Halves’ about the 1914 Hearts team who volunteered to fight in World War 1.
As always we have been very fortunate with our variety and quality of speakers in 2019. All gave their valuable time for no payment and a huge thanks is due to all of them.
The Committee met seven times during 2019. The Committee for 2019 was
Chair Bill Alves Secretary Alison Ross Treasurer Sandra Alves
Committee members: David Drummond, John Kane, Susan Niven and Ron Smart
The Committee continues to have an excellent relationship with Chair Ann Budge and all members of the Hearts Board, and we are also part of the Supporters groups committee G10. The Committee also enjoys good relationships with Foundation of Hearts and the Federation of Hearts Supporters Clubs. A number of our Committee members play an active role within the Hearts Charity, Big Hearts and the Hearts Museum. We are also represented on the 1914 Memorial Trust Committee.
Following a couple of resignations in 2018 and Lisa Paterson’s move abroad, the Committee has welcomed three new members, John, David and Susan. As Chair I am delighted that these new members have joined the old hands and we have all worked really well together. We have also been able to call upon the help and support of our members when required, in particular, Tommy Fallon for his excellent written reports on our monthly meetings. A huge vote of thanks is due to our committee members for their valued time, skills and hard work to make 2019 a successful year for the Association.
A big thank you is also due to our auditor of many years, Jimmy Robertson.
We also must recognise the enormous contribution of Head of Catering Graham Pacitti, Carla Greirson and all their staff in making our monthly meetings a success.
It is pleasing to report that our membership has remained stable at around 300, during a time when there is a lot of demand for their cash from other parts of the Club.
During the year. In accordance with resolutions made at our AGM in January 2109 and other Committee decisions, the following donations have been made.
1. £6000 to Heart of Midlothian FC, specifically for the Tynecastle Redevelopment Fund.
2. £500 to Hearts Community specifically to support their coaching trip to Rwanda
3. £500 to Heart of Midlothian FC to purchase new p/a equipment for the corporate suites
4. £1020 to sponsor the playing kits of Steven Naismith, Loic Damour and Aaron Hickey
The Committee would like to thank all members, old and new, for continuing to pay their subscriptions, attending our meetings and supporting the Association.
Thanks to all of you.
Bill Alves, Chair